Monday, October 24, 2011

Plan B

Key to the following phone conversation:

Blue = the security guy's words

Green = my words

Red = my thoughts


"Hi this is Rachel"

"Hi, this is so-and-so from security. I am wondering if you think any of the patients will die this weekend."

... crickets chirping {silence} ...

"I'm sorry, did you say you were from security?"

"Yes, we are having trouble with the morgue refrigerator again and the guys from maintenance aren't going to be able to fix it til Monday. So, I am wondering what the Plan B is."

... more crickets ...
well, there are many other refrigerators in the building ...
how cold do you think it is outside?
it's a small hospital, let's just roll the dice.
 this certainly doesn't seem like a problem that i can fix 
"Well, to answer your question, all the patients are doing fine right now. And I will talk with the funeral home if it comes to that."

"Okay, thanks"

Monday, October 17, 2011

work hard. play hard.

giving thanks #1831 - 1845
- a fun Monday with Loki: bike riding, playing and snuggling. During that day, I swayed his affection pendulum back towards my side, which was a little futile since I basically worked and slept the next three days. It is not a competition, which side he lands on (mine or Christopher's) we just notice and comment on who he prefers.
- knowing that after a busy day at class, Christopher usually needs food and quality time in the form of an easy shared activity. While I didn't greet him at the door with a beer in hand, the laundry was done, there was a plan for dinner and hulu was primed with Parks and Rec
- working hard some days.
- some days just working.
- being woken up with kisses when I sleep through my alarm
- dinner ready as I am getting up
- a little bit of alone time to adjust to the idea being awake
- nice chats with co-workers
- an unexpected evening of alone time; i spent the time sewing and reading
- my brother coming to visit with Honey Dip Doughnuts and coffee. yummmm.
- an evening with friends, making a delicious dinner - handmade ravioli with a variety of insides
- deciding to get out of bed for church
- meeting new people
- an afternoon at an apple orchard, and then making and canning applesauce

our afternoon went something like this:
pick apples

tackle apples in our kitchen

try to convince Loki that after ALL the apples, there were no more left for him
So far this week looks like it may be a repeat of last and that suits me just fine. Now if you'll excuse me, my hubby is working hard at school and I have my end of that bargain to hold up at the house.

Friday, October 14, 2011

about: learning how to be a supervisor

a few tidbits and thoughts from the last few weeks:
  • Always ask questions. Always. When someone calls in sick: what is your last name? where do you work? When someone calls that I don't know: what number can I reach you at? When I am asked to find something that I don't know what it is: what it is used for? what does it look like? what kind of packaging does it come in? any idea where to find it? When I am told about something that seems odd: is there something going on that I should know about? As a staff nurse, things just magically show up and I usually don't get the backstory when I am told to do something. As a supervisor, I am the scavenger-hunter and I don't only get to hear the backstory, usually it involves some kind of action.
  • I don't like going to the basement or the surgical areas of the hospital in the nighttime. It seems a little irrational, yes, but when I think of the many hallways and stairways and doors that aren't locked, it seems very slightly more rational and more fun to bring someone with me. Usually I go on these adventures to look for something (test strips, coffee filters, strange forceps, etc.) and in that case, two pairs of eyes are better than one.
  • People really like it when you help them and I really like to help people. So whether it's giving a cab voucher to that patient in the emergency dept (ED) that just has to leave right now, starting an IV, giving meds or transporting a patient, I feel useful and my co-workers feel helped. And that makes me happy.
  • Knowing how different departments work gives me the ability to help them work a little better with each other. When I know why the nurses in the ED do something a certain way, I can explain that to the med/surg nurses and hopefully help lower the frustration level.
  • Did I mention, always ask questions? more information is always better. 
  • As with everything at my tiny hospital, this role is unique because our place is so small. So while I'm not sure that this would be the job for me at a big, hopping hospital (i.e. St. Mary's), it seems that it is a good fit for me here.
That's all. Happy weekend.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Fall Fun in Pictures

I could post my gratitude list or I could write about our great weekend or I could tell y'all about the beauty of fall. But instead of telling you, I'm going to show you. 
at Lake Geneva this weekend

at Whitnall Park, of course.

a little overexposed because of the sunlight but i like it anyway

at my cousin's wedding in Aug

Friday, October 7, 2011

Night shiftin' it

When I tell people that I work night shifts, their reaction is fairly consistent. They moan, feel bad for me and ask when I will be able to work day shifts. Aside from the fact that I make a little more money working nights and aside from the fact that working nights is convenient because we only have one car, I have begun to enjoy the rhythm of night shifts and also the rhythm that it gives my life.

Granted, there are the very obvious cons (that I'm sure you can come up with yourself) but I have come to really appreciate the other side of the column: the pros.

  • I have a rather regimented way of sleeping and protect sleeping above all else. I certainly can't say that about when I worked day shifts. 
  •  Nights at the hospital are just ... different ... better ... quieter than days. During night shifts there are fewer family members, nursing managers and doctors and I think that is a good thing for nurses. Oh and there are no meals for the patients on night shifts. I greatly dislike meal times; it is soooo inconvenient for the nurse! At the risk of sounding even more jaded towards my career, I'm going to move on ...
  • I stay up late a few nights a week to prepare for my shifts and I really enjoy those nights. I usually don't do much - my husband is sleeping which limits the housework, my friends are sleeping which limits social activities and stores are closed which limits errands. The introvert in me LOVES this alone time and I look forward to it every week. 
It is true that I choose to work night shifts and that, for right now, that schedule works out well for our life. But it is also true that I enjoy them and am thankful for this crazy, random, nocturnal schedule.